Group caught on CCTV tearing down Pride flags and urinating on them

Group attempt to tear down Pride flags in front of Import Market in Missoula, Montana

A group of people have been caught on CCTV tearing down Pride flags and appearing to urinate on them in Montana.

According to news organisation 8KPAX in Missoula, Montana, the group was seen on Sunday (9 June) pulling down Pride flags from outside a basket and furniture store, before tearing them up, throwing them in a bin and appearing to urinate on them.

The police are reportedly aware of the incident, and the company is planning to file a report. 

Import Market said they have flown Pride flags outside for years without this happening before.

“As a long-time LGBTQ+ supporter, I’m disheartened by the vandalism,” the store’s owner wrote on Instagram. “Not only did they deliberately remove all the Pride-related flags, but they tore them up into pieces, stuffed them down their pants, and peed on them.

“It makes me sick to my stomach to watch this video.”

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The Western Montana LGBTQ+ Community Center said the area is still planning to host a Pride event over the weekend.

“We will not be intimidated. We will not be bullied. We will not let hate win,” the group said. “Come out and support the LGBTQ+ community this weekend at Missoula Pride. Pride is prevention.”

The incident comes as legislatures across the US try to ban Pride flags on public buildings and in schools, with a Michigan city claiming LGBTQ+ people are “already represented”.

In December, Florida Republican David Borrero filed a bill to ban Pride flags on public buildings, arguinbg that governments should “remain neutral”.

Some areas have begun to fight back. In February, Utah blocked proposed legislation aimed at banning Pride flags in schools, while in Tennessee Democrat representative Jason Powell said he was “proud when I walk into the public schools in my city and see the LGBTQ+ flag in the classroom”.

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